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Robert Bruce (c. 1754–?)

Robert Bruce (c.1754- ), James Branagan, and James Murry were found guilty on 29 July 1783 at Winchester, Hampshire, of violently assaulting a man near a highway and taking a silk purse with six guineas and other money. Their death sentences were commuted to 7 years transportation to America. Branagan and Bruce were part of a convict mutiny aboard the Mercury transport in 1784 and were again sentenced to death which was again commuted to 7 years transportation. They were sent to the Dunkirk hulk in June 1784 and arrived in New South Wales in January 1788 aboard the Charlotte as part of the First Fleet.

Both men were sent to Norfolk Island on the Sirius in March 1790. Robert Bruce's daughter with Carolina Laycock was baptised in Sydney on 21 March. On 14 December 1791 Bruce was among those marked 'absconded' before the end of his term even though his sentence had technically ended in July.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 55

Citation details

'Bruce, Robert (c. 1754–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1754
Devon, England

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Passenger Ship
Key Events
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Convict Record

Crime: assault and robbery
Sentence: 7 years